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Freya continues her journey, sailing south along the western shore of Vancouver Island. This coast has five major sounds cutting into tall snow-capped mountains, and has a generous scattering of islets and coves to explore. It is difficult to access most of this coast; few people live here and the wildlife is abundant.
Sea Otter Cove and Lowrie Beach
Our first morning on the west coast was calm and sunny. Sea Otter Cove is quite large but very shallow. There are drying flats at the head of the bay that seem to go on forever when the tide is out, especially when you are carrying a dinghy over it! Foolishly, we went exploring without checking the tide table and so hauled the sucker waaaayyy farther up than we needed to.
biggest attraction of this bay is the fabulous beach in the nearby
Lowrie Bay. Perhaps we appreciated it even more because of the work
to get to it. Our guidebook describes the trail to the beach as
primitive – a more accurate description would simply be “wet,
muddy, wet, boggy,” and
I say wet?
On to Lowrie beach! 45 minutes tramping rewarded us with this beautiful, rugged gem:
Pacific swell brings in lots of flotsam and jetsam to keep happy beachcombers occupied. There is nothing quite like the feel of warm sand on bare feet. Speaking of bare feet, or actually bear feet, other tracks showed we weren't the only ones who liked it.
Lowrie beach is in Cape Scott Provincial Park so hikers also make their way here. The nearby military station, CFS Holberg, built this little hut for weary travellers. It has a wood stove, firewood, two bunks, propane bottles, assorted small supplies, and even a couple of mickies with a few ounces of the good stuff. Grafitti on the walls told many stories, including appreciation for the luxury of a dry place. One group noted they were hiding out from bears. Others commented on how great the hiking had been, all except for 11 year old Alison who wrote, “hated the hike!”
Scenes from Quatsino Sound
Radio is always nice to have – in addition to music's entertainment value, we have a small desire to keep abreast of what's happening in the world. This past week spent poking Freya's bow into various coves along the top of the Island has been interesting from the radio reception point of view. Various AM music stations from the lower mainland have faded in and out, but for one station the reception has invariably been fine. Curiously, it specializes in 'all traffic, all the time' with not a jot of music. What exactly we would do with endless traffic reports for Vancouver while anchored 300 miles away I have no idea. Laugh, perhaps...